Academie De Kunstbrug / De Container

The Container / Academie De Kunstbrug

The Container / Academie De Kunstbrug is a trans-disciplinary collective art project that wants to reflect, expose and confront the current art practice model. During a full school year 2016/17, The Container and the artists involved will work with and in between the art students, the teachers, the building and surroundings of the Academie De Kunstbrug in Gent.
For its practice and reflection, the project is taking inspiration in the classical context of the Music, Dans and Word Academies (DKO). It will support itself dramaturgically, on the established trajectory of art practice, which starts within the educational framework and ends in the theatre, the concert hall or the museum in front of an audience. In particular, this unraveling project will give special attention, and it will take in serious consideration everything that lies in between that trajectory, from the classroom to the recital, from the school to home, from the amateur to the professional realms.

The Container, a reusable mobile and temporary observatory/ laboratory, will land in the gardens of the Academie Kunstbrug between the pound and the highway E19 the 1st of September 2016, the beginning of the school year. The landing of this standard metal box, marks the arrival of its one year presence as a time capsule determining the projects first artistic intervention and its ongoing attitude till 31st June of 2017, day of its departure.

This empty vessel, ready to be an interface between the several layers of the project, is a meeting point, an object of symbolic value, an archive, a studio, an atelier, a workers zone, a radio station, from which projections, discussions, interventions will be leaking through the Kunst Academie territory inviting the users of that place to think and practice with us the question: what is art today? and what would we like it to be?

The container functions as a metaphor on one hand and as a physical working place on the other, symbolizing the construction of a new environment, containing the secret and the promise of change, and also referring to the modelization of products, value exchange and commuting.
If all these parameters are important in the political economic realm they are also the sources of inspiration in contemporary society that can mobilize real thinking and extreme imagination for the making of a new world.

Importantly, this enigmatic though standardized territory can also be seen as a friendly parasite that feeds-back and feeds on a pre-established, self sustained entity of the Academy. Being a membrane, allowing its crew to circulate around, taking care of all its parts, the visible and the invisible ones, this metal rectangular box, a temporary alien, will interlink in an ephemeral way the desires of the art users, unfolding what by habit has been hidden in the cracks of the western canon.

This shell, that no one knows what it contains, is exactly in its ignorance our learning method. Together, apart, in different times and intensities, within several art practices, from music to the visuals arts, dance or writing, we will all – students, teachers, wanderers, artists, academics, cleaning personnel- relate and construct common knowledge that will gravitate around the containers vortex. We will be each other’s audiences and we will perform for each other what we don’t know yet. The audience and the performers are part of one same group, exchanging positions, being in action and being critical as both sides of the same coin.

By the end of the project a great number of experiences, registrations, reflections, scores and much more will be transformed into a publication, contributing to the thinking of a new model for the Academy that will leave its present facilities in a close future. What shape will it have?